Civil society urged the MPs to play active role for accountable, transparent and effective implementation of SDGs and 7th Five Year Plan

img 1SUPRO (Campaingn for Good Goverance), a grassroots civil society network urged the MPs to play active role for accountable, transparent and effective implementation of SDGs and 7th Five Year Plan in a dicussion meeting with the Parliamentary Caucus on National Planning and Budget held on yesterday at the Oath Room, National Parliament Building, Dhaka.

Dr. Md. Rustum Ali Faraji, MP chaired the meeting while General Secretary of the Caucus Nazmul Haque Prodhan, MP and General Secreatary of SUPRO Md. Arifur Rahman welcomed all. SUPRO Director Alison Subrata Baroi presented the key note paper tilted “Implementaion and Challenges: Sustainable Development Goals-2030 and Bangladesh 7th Five Year Plan”. Member of Parliamentary Caucus and Parliamentary Standing Committee, national council members of SUPRO, university teachers, representatives from development partners, NGOs and media took part in the meeting. Former Chairperson of SUPRO Abdul Awal moderated the session.
The key note paper highlighted that the heads of 193 countries has approved the global development framework - the Sustainable Development Goals 2030 on 25th September 2015 in UN HQ, New York, which is a result of inclusive and collective effort from all the states and non states actors that consolidated wide range of needs and aspiration from human rights perspectives. In connection with the spirit of SDGs, Bangladesh government has developed and approved its 7th Five Year Plan (2016-2020) in October 20, 2015. As the goals and targets of the SDGs are well taken care of in the formulation of the 7th Five Year Plan, it can be said that the country will be an ‘early starter’ in the implementation process of the SDGs. However, there are some challenges for effective, accountable and transparent implementation that include how the country will develop its own indicators; what would be the monitoring and accountable mechasim; how the fund will be mobilized to carryout the activities; how the plan will be reflected in annual plan and budget, to what extent the participation from all stakes will be ensured; to what extent the developed countries commitment will be ensured and so on. Finally SUPRO placed 10 recommendations to the government and members of parliament. Key of the recommendations is below:

  1.  Take affirmative action for creating mass awareness programs on the 7th Five Year Plan and SDGs from the grassroots to national level as a part of mainsteam development process.
  2. Government will immediately form a “National Coordination Committee” comprised of elected representatives, CSOs, Researhers, Professionals, Citizens, Journalists, government officials and  relevant stakeholder with a view to monitoring performance and dissemination of the progress publicly.
  3. Increase role of parliament members in the parliament session and standing committee meetings to expedite the implementation and monitoring process of SDGs and 7th FYP inlcluding directives and inispiration to the repsective ministries/division/department/institution for effective implementation of the set goals and targets.

img 2All the meeting members expressed solidarity with the recommendations. In the point of discussion, Quazi Rosy, MP said, “we need women empowerment at all levels from household to outside world. Now women have changed their own shape with multi-dimensional ways. Women are now more vocal and active. Women’s activities enhance our development process and male counterpart also giving lot of support to women”.
Mahabub Ara Begum Gini, MP said, “Revenue generation will be the key challenges for the implementation of SDGs and 7th FYP. She opined, tax net areas have to be increased. We have to reduce donor dependency. We have to change our mindset to uphold the ethichs of transparency and accountability at all level”.

Professor Dr. Nizam U. Ahmed of Chittagong University said, “draft budget needs to send to the respective committees for review after budget declaration in the parliament and to do so, there is a need to change the present parliamentary rules and procedures”.

img 3img 4Advocate Navana Akter MP said, “If we can address corruption and irregularities,it won’t be tough to implment SDGs and 7th FYP. Coaching business and guide book system has to be stopped to restore quality education by taking collective action both from government, civil society, teachers and parents”.

Mst. Selina Jahan Lita MP said, “ during  preparation phase of the budgetary allocation process, the demands must have to come from the grassroots specially from the Upazila and Union Parishd Level”. She suggested SUPRO to arrange pre budget consultation so that they can pursue through different standing committee in advance.
Nazmul Haque Prodhan MP said, “we have to take a holistic approach to face the challenges of implementation keeping the spirit and dream of our liberation in our heart. Recent women empowerment and participation in the political and development processes are the results of the liberation spriit.”

Catherine Cecil, Team Leader, PROKAS of British Council said, “structural system and procedures needs to be reviewed and changed for effective implementation of SDG and 7th FYP implementation and also need collective action”.

Dr. Md. Rustum Ali Faraji, Chair of today’s session said, “budget should be formulated by addressing the needs of marginalized people irrespective of the race, reiligon, class and identy. We expect that MPs in the standing committee will play more active role in budget preparation and our parliament will look into the matter of increased inovolvement of parliament members by addressing necessary changes of rule of business.”
Kamrun Nahar Chowdhury MP, Selina Begum MP, Stephanie Lynn, Chief of Party, Democracy International, Towfiqul Islam, CPD; Mihir Biswas, BAPA, were also present at the occasion. Members of SUPRO national council, CSOs representatives, journalist also took part the at the discussion session.

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